Rumors of a live-action remake of the animated classic FernGully: The Last Rainforest have recently reemerged into the spotlight.
Contrary to a summer hoax that circulated a fake AI-generated poster, the rights to the iconic film are now in the hands of Machine Media Advisors, who are actively exploring the possibility of a live-action adaptation.
Ferngully: The Last Rainforest Franchise History
Originally produced by FAI Films, the enduring world of FernGully: The Last Rainforest first captivated audiences in 1992, taking them on a magical journey into the heart of the Australian rainforest.
The film, known for its environmental themes and memorable characters, gained a dedicated fanbase.
The plot featured Crysta, a young fairy voiced by Samantha Mathis, as she fought to save her home from deforestation. The animated movie boasts a stellar cast that includes the talent of Tim Curry, who lends his voice to the evil Hexxus, the malevolent force threatening the rainforest.
As audiences delve into the story, they witness Crysta’s encounter with a human named Zak, voiced by Jonathan Ward. She also has a hilarious sidekick named Batty Koda, voiced by the late Robin Williams, and a reluctant friend named Pips, voiced by Christain Slater.
Following its box office success, FAI Films released a direct-to-video sequel, FernGully 2: The Magical Rescue, in 1998.
Who Owns the Rights to Ferngully?
The saga took an unexpected turn in 1998 when FAI Insurance, the parent company of FAI Films, was acquired by HIH Insurance. However, HIH Insurance faced a financial collapse in March 2001, leaving the fate of the FernGully films uncertain.
Fast forward to June 2012, and the rights were put up for sale by administrators of HIH, leading to Shout! Studios (formerly Shout Factory), who stepped in as the new custodians. In a recent collaborative deal, Shout! Studios gave Ferngully rights to Machine Media Advisors.
According to Animation Magazine, Machine Media Advisors has wasted no time in revitalizing the FernGully franchise. They secured worldwide distribution rights for the original film in a deal with Shout! Factory, which was an interesting shift from the historical involvement of Disney owning 20th Century Fox.
The company has re-released the film’s iconic soundtrack featuring Elton John and brought back the 1998 sequel.
Live-Action Ferngully: The Last Rainforest
Now, with the rights firmly in their grasp, Animation Magazine has reported that Machine Media Advisors is eyeing the potential for a live-action remake. The company has mentioned being in discussions with major studio partners, fueling speculation that Disney might be the chosen collaborator.
The company doesn’t plan to stop there. Machine Media Advisors has also mentioned immersive experiences, including gaming and the metaverse, and is eyeing a possible Broadway adaptation.
As rumors swirl and negotiations progress, the possibility of Disney spearheading a live-action FernGully remake could now be a possibility instead of a fan-made poster.
Zendaya in Ferngully?!!! Yes. pic.twitter.com/1Np5MUu9RN
— . (@freshiegrl) June 28, 2023
While the fake AI-generated image featuring Zendaya as Crysta may have initially fueled speculation, the current developments suggest that Machine Media Advisors is steering FernGully into a new era, potentially with Disney at the helm of this magical cinematic revival.